Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dunbar House, Montrose - update

The old house was demolished yesterday - they say there were batts flying everywhere.  I learned more about the house.  This was the Montrose Presbyterian Manse and sold to Stephen McNeill 1893-1984 (son of James and Elizabeth (Jeffery) MacNeill) of Alma.  Stephen operated a cobbler shop from here - he learned the trade from his father.  Stephen sold it to Eric Dunbar who later sold it to his brother George Dunbar.
In the Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 issue of the West Prince Graphic, page 3 (see below) - is an article about the demolition of this house.  When someone came in to take the mantle before demolition Mrs. Pedersen, the owner, found four old photos (one a tin-type) I'd say dating from the 1870's - they don't know who the people area.  There was alot of history here in this old house.

Princetown United Church - inside

I was to a wedding at Princetown United Church in 2006 - here's a few photos of the interior.  While waiting for the wedding to start I was fiddling with my camera and set it on Black & White setting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Princetown United Church, Malpeque

I was out Malpeque way today and observed new work at the Princetown United Church - a new foundation, ramp, sidewalk and landscaping - excellent to see the old church maintained for the future.
The church was built in 1869-70 as a Presbyterian Church in the Gothic Revival style for a cost of $1,800.  The church became part of the United Church of Canada in 1925 when the Methodists and Presbyterians joined in union. Refer to the Historic Places website for more information on the church...
The church has many interesting features such as the sculpted barge boards; the lancet windows on the facade; the 111 foot high steeple with weather vane on top.  The unusual large round windows on each side of the tower.
Below:  At the corner of Route 20 in Malpeque (near the church) is the Malpeque Community Center - established in 1851.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dunbar House/Store, Montrose, PEI

This old house will be torn down today.  It's located on the corner of the Centerline Rd. (Rte. 151) and Rte. 153 in Montrose.   When I was young the house was owned by George Dunbar.  Following WWII he operated a store from here in an addition to the rear - torn off years ago.  The house has been much modified over the years, especially in the windows.  The present owners offered to my brother Kerras of Backroad Folkart ( ) to come in and strip out architectural features before demolition.  He took out the complete stair banister ( I will get photo later), a few doors, door knobs, trim, etc.  he said there were alot of square nails in the house.
Meachams 1880 Atlas shows two building on this property and notes a store owned by Donald Montgomery.  On the 3/4-acre lot adjacent ( north/behind )  was a forge owned by Benjamin Bowness.
Above/Below: a door knob and plate from this house - Kerras was impressed with the detail and substance of the knob.

Friday, June 24, 2011

North Cape Lighthouse

After I left Christ Church I made my way to North Cape to meet friends at the restaurant there. Here's a few photos of the lighthouse.
This lighthouse was established in 1866.  The lighthouse is about 60' high and has a cast iron tower on top.  The tower is 11' high.   It warns ships of the longest rock reef in North America.  The lighthouse has 4 floor with 3 flights of stairs curving up to reach the little tower room at the top.  A year after they built the lighthouse they built a cottage.  The lighthouse was remodelled in 1875. 
In 1883 they talked about having a telegraph connecting with East Point but it wasn't done till the 1960's. In 1929 the lighthouse was shingled.  In 1968 the cottage was moved to a field a few hundred feet away - the is now five miles from here.
Much of the information herein is from the Historic Places - check out their website and an old photo of the lighthouse and cottage:
Above: view up the north coastline along the Gulf of St. Lawrence looking away from the lighthouse.  Note the wind turbines of the Atlantic Wind Test Site.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Christ Church Kildare Capes

I was up to North Cape on Monday evening - here's a few photos I took as I traveled from Alberton along the shore.
Above: the second Christ Church at Kildare Capes.  This church was moved here following the fire of the first Christ Church, below.
Above: Rev. Dyer described this church, started about 1851, in his journal on  August 15, 1859 - “After family prayer this morning I went with some of our friends to see the church.  I was struck at the appearance of it.  It looked more like a shed at a coal mine than a church.  It has been put up so many years to certain degrees, namely, the frame up, and rough‑boarded in, and the boards had become quite black with the weather.  It is rather small, 30x22 chancel, 9x6, the entrance or tower, 6 feet square.  It is rather prettily situated on two acres of good land given by the Mrs. Travers, and if fenced, it forms an excellent graveyard.  When the harvest is gathered in the people are going to try to finish it.  I shall be glad and thankful when it is done.” 

Below - view of the church looking at the Southeast corner.   This church was moved here from Montrose, a recently deconsecrated Presybeterian Church in 1926.  It was moved by well-known building hauler Spurgeon Jeffery of Lauretta, PEI.  The spectacle of the move was talked about for years by local residence who witnessed it.   Spurgeon's daughters Mary & Eva kept journals - they recorded October 10, 1926:  Rain last night.  Father went to Kildare this morning to haul church.
Below: View of the Northeast corner.  The church has been a beacon for fishermen for more than a century.
Below are miscellaneous details of the church.

Note the detailing of the cedar shingles over the gothic transom.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beechwood Gardens, Ferry Rd., Cornwall

I was visiting a friend this evening who showed me this postcard and book (1968) of the very popular gardens of Mrs. Gordon (Mabel) Macmillan.  She was well known for her gardens entertaining many visitors and dignitaries.  My friend has had her great-grandson helping-out with grounds work at their business - the lad brought in this historic information to show my friend.
 Mrs. Macmillan was born in Tryon, the daughter of John and Minnie Lea Howatt.

Above is a book Mrs. Macmillan had published telling of her garden, wherein she describes her garden each month, interweaving poetry throughout.  I tried to find the book on but it doesn't come up - a first as I can always find used books at ABE.

The 2010 Rural Beautification award - "Mrs. Gordon MacMillan Trophy: presented for the best flower garden" was won by Leigh & Phyllis Lewis of Cascumpec, O'Leary RR

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blacksmith Shop, Howlan

     This old blacksmith shop is located at the corner of the Howlan Road (Rte.143) and Gaspe Road (Rte. 148) not far from O'Leary. It was operated by Robert Gallant. 
Above: facing east, Howlan Road on the right.
Above: northeast corner.
Above: northwest corner as you round the corner onto the Gaspe Road.
Above: the north side from the Gaspe Road side.

Lionel Stevenson photographed Robert Gallant in his shop in 1985 and published the below photo in their book, Elders of the Island by Mary O'Brien, Lionel Stevenson, Terry Dunton Stevenson.  UPEI and Ragweed Press.  ISBN 0-920304-53-2.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mac Dixon's Grist Mill, South Mellville

I took theses photos on April 15, 1989.  Arnold Smith and I were visiting our friend Marion Flood who lived nearby - we got talking about the old mill then she took us over and introduced us to Mac Dixon, owner of the old mill.
Above: entry to the property.
There are / were a few Dixon Mills on PEI - the story goes there was a Dixon family near Belfast, I believe, who operated a mil - when his sons grew up they were encouraged to go to other communities on the Island and start mills.  I know there was a Dixon Mill in Kingston and another near Souris.
Above: this is where the water wheel was located.
Mac showed us through the mill telling us about the equipment and this Bran Duster that his father bought on a trip to Boston.
The old mill is still there - I don't have current photos - I will try this summer.  Mac's son built a house behind the mill in the 1990's.  In the late 1980's there were a couple of local entrepreneurs who wanted to turn it into a museum but it didn't happen!  There are few of these old mills left on the Island.
Above: later that summer I took this photo - a site to behold as the wide open fields gather in the vale at the old mill.